sperm oil

sperm oil

noun Chemistry.
a yellow, thin, water-insoluble liquid obtained from the sperm whale, used chiefly as a lubricant in light machinery, as watches, clocks, and scientific apparatus.

Origin:
1820–30

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sperm oil
 
n
an oil obtained from the head of the sperm whale, used as a lubricant

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
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sperm oil

pale yellow oil obtained with spermaceti from the head cavity (spermaceti organ) and blubber of the sperm whale. Formerly used as a superior lighting oil and later as a lubricant, it was little used in the modern period apart from in certain toiletries and pharmaceuticals, although in 1950 advances in oil chemistry allowed it to be used in large quantities for the manufacture of soap.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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